Leaving a Church

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by Precepts, Feb 21, 2004.

  1. Precepts

    Precepts
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    Of the many reasons that one sees as valid for leaving a church, I have one question about leaving, I am confused as to why the members of a church will disassociate with those who left, but are now members of a church of like faith?

    Isn't that a practice found in the society of the world?
     
  2. Thankful

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    I'm not sure I understand your question.
     
  3. Precepts

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    That's funny, I understood it perfectly when I first made the post :eek:

    When people leave a church, the members of that church always seem to believe that person who left has to come back to their church or else they must cut off fellowship with that individual. Now i know this isn't always the case, but I see alot of that going on around this neck of the woods.

    The persons who left that particualr church have joined another church of like faith, and if not a better church, at least one just as good.

    In my situation we left because the Lord was prompting us to leave. All the while he was leading us to the church we're at now, but we went through some situations in the process by visiting other churches we felt were like our old one.

    We left w/o causing a fuss and not even a stirr, but now the members of our old church have very little to do with us. I have tried to talk to these people nicely, even had the pastor visit us one single solitary time and he was quoted as saying he had done everything he knew to do to get us to come back. Not that we would, but that he really lied or didn't think too much of his trying.

    The problem I'm having is we fellowship with our old church on a regular basis in meetings and such, but when greeting the members of our old church, you cannot get around how they are obviously standoffish and even quite rude at times.

    I've tried to talk to the pastor and he just seems to get farther away. I don't feel this is right at all, we're both Christians. We left nearly two years ago and it just seems to me the "hurt" of our leaving should have subsided by now, but it just seems to be getting worse.

    I know many others that have ahd this same problem when they left that church, our church, and other churches as well. It's just a crying shame.

    I even had to go as far as telling a member, and good friend at that, of the old church that I didn't "Belong" to his pastor, nor do I "belong" to my pastor now.

    I know I brought our particular case into the conversation, but it's not ours alone, it's many.

    So does society have the mandate in the church?
     
  4. Pastor KevinR

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    Precepts, I think that's sad a small for you to be treated that way. As followers of Christ we ought to be above pettiness. In our church, a deacon and his family left and went to another IFB church with "more to offer" than ours. Of course we went to see them and tried to tell them to stay and make our church "idea" (whatever that is) but they felt "led" to leave anyway. The good news is that his wife still calls mine from time to time, and they go bowling, etc. One thing I didn't like is that some of our members, the minority at least, kept them at arm's length when they came to our church for a funeral. And since the Deacon and his family are White, and not one other member is White (except the Pastor), one or two said that's why they left, because there were no other Whites. The Pastor had to nip that one!
    I hope your former church friends mature and realize we're all on the same team!
    God bless, Bro Kevin
     
  5. Greg Linscott

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    Can you explain? I'm not looking for specifics... but I assume we're not talking visions, voices, or pillar of fire/smoke. How were you able to distinguish between God's prompting and a reluctance to resolve a conflict Biblically (for example)?
     
  6. Jim1999

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    Despite the fact that we share a commonality in Jesus, we do have different personalities, and these often enter into conflict. We leave one church and join with another. This is not wrong. In fact, it should benefit the cause of Christ.

    All involved, however, should give God's speed to the brethren. Sadly, there some church folk who practice shunning, and make that clear. Again, this is the old self interacting. The weapon against this is a smile, and God bless you.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. Greg Linscott

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    Why not?

    Since when is God's answer to conflict resolution to take our ball and play elsewhere? Doctrinal differences are one matter. Leaving because you can't live with Deacon Jones outspoken mother-in-law but are too scared to make waves is quite another. God wants us to live peaceably with all men. Shouldn't that begin at home- in the church?

    A common theme I'm beginning to pick up on in places such as this is people's disatisfaction with "cultic," controlling pastors. If you are leaving a church because of something like this, instead of confronting and attempting to resolve peacefully and Biblically, I believe you are doing God, yourself, and your fellow church members a grave disservice.
     
  8. Jim Ward

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    Precepts,

    I feel for ya as I'm going through the same thing with having had to leave a Church, except my reasons were different then yours. It's funny though, people will still talk to my wife (well a few of them) but because as lot of them are under the false impression that I was sexually involved with another women do to a statement made by the Sr. Pastor when he announced my leaving, none seem to have any desire to talk to me, nor to try to "restore me". I know I made the right choice by leaving there.


    Jim
     
  9. cdg

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    It is sad when churches are like that. I have heard it said that it is good when you can leave a church on good terms and come back anytime for meetings, too bad some churches wont let you do that. I guess all one can do is pray for them and be kind to them.
     
  10. Thankful

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    Thank you, Precepts, for explaining your question.

    I am sorry that you have experienced this. When I have changed churches, it was because I moved to a different town. Some of the people I have kept in touch with over the years.

    It is probably that some people are just uncomfortable and maybe they feel hurt or responsible for your leaving.

    I would suggest that you look forward, keep your eyes on Jesus and make new friends in your new church. Don't let it bother you if some of the people in the old church appear to be stand offish.

    May God Bless You in the Walk with Him!
     
  11. GrannyGumbo

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    I am guilty of this very thing. There is a church several hundred miles from me that had a split. A big group left first & then a smaller next. I was very close to the latter.

    I felt "betrayed" by those folks, & yes, I treated them rather 'snotty'(long-distance). I have since gotten over it, but am ashamed of my behaviour. I guess I wanted things to stay the way they were, so when I go back for a visit, they'd still be there.

    I liked SisThankful's topic on "Grudges"...it seems to fit here, as well. [​IMG]
     
  12. russell55

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    Some of this may have to do with hurt feelings. You chose another church instead of theirs, and maybe that's interpreted as your rejection of them, and so they are a little wary of you.
     
  13. Greg Linscott

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    I still believe that much of what you (and others in your position) are experiencing is the result of unresolved conflict. A wonderful resource that you might find helpful is a book called The Peacemaker by Ken Sande. His ministry has a website: www.hispeace.org. His 4 basic principles are simple...

    Glorify God
    Get The Log Out of Your Own Eye
    Gently Restore
    Go And Be Reconciled


    Sande has this to say about personal reconciliation:
     
  14. fcs25

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    Disassociating with a church member that moves into another church is one of the clear signs of a cult.Any church that claims that if you leave God will punish you and you'll be lost is a cult.They are not Christian at their core.
     
  15. Greg Linscott

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    ???
    I am not under the impression that this ever has been mentioned in the context of this thread. No one has mentioned anything even resembling loss of salvation to my knowledge.
     
  16. Precepts

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    Can you explain? I'm not looking for specifics... but I assume we're not talking visions, voices, or pillar of fire/smoke. How were you able to distinguish between God's prompting and a reluctance to resolve a conflict Biblically (for example)? </font>[/QUOTE]To explain w/o specifics is nearly impossible. You insinuate that we hadn't done all to resolve any differences, but as i've stated, they have only grown worse. I can tell them why we left, they stick with their idea and then go even further to make more stuff up. I am just allowing the lord to sort it all out, in the meantime, pray. Before jumping to conclusions, you would have to know more about our particular situation than I'll ever be willing to give. I'll just put it this way, my son has since been saved, my daughter plays the organ, My wife , daughter, and oldest son sing specials, I open service before SS and then teach the preteens boys, God has tremendously blessed! Before, that wasn't the case, the church is full of competition and tugging on the heart strings of the pastor, taken into account when the Lord speaks through specific situations you know BTSOAD, it's the Lord, enough said. I would hope you know what I am talking about, and not underestimating the particualrs before our leaving, thank you. Leaving that church is the hardest thing I have ever done, emotionally please understand. But spiritually, the Lord has blessed!
     
  17. Precepts

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    Why not?

    Since when is God's answer to conflict resolution to take our ball and play elsewhere? Doctrinal differences are one matter. Leaving because you can't live with Deacon Jones outspoken mother-in-law but are too scared to make waves is quite another. God wants us to live peaceably with all men. Shouldn't that begin at home- in the church?

    A common theme I'm beginning to pick up on in places such as this is people's disatisfaction with "cultic," controlling pastors. If you are leaving a church because of something like this, instead of confronting and attempting to resolve peacefully and Biblically, I believe you are doing God, yourself, and your fellow church members a grave disservice.
    </font>[/QUOTE]Brother, I agree with your premise, but that is not always the case in point. Sometimes as Brother Jim has said is that personalities collide and there is none better resolution than to avoid that kind of conflict and risk further damage.

    I've known first hand how one's personality has torn a church apart, all the while the pastor simply just stands by and watches it all unfold into nothing but a big mess! I believe that is doing God and His people a dis-service far greater than what you propose.

    The "conflicts" have been addressed, and the ones who were hurt are just that, HURT. Some of these are adults, but many are teenagers and other youth. Just to put it mildly, some of those in a particular assembly are fitting themselves for an engraved millstone, get the picture?
     
  18. Precepts

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    Thank you, Thankful, my didn't that sound funny?

    We've been at our new church for nearly two years now and the Lord has blessed!
     
  19. Precepts

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    Thanks Sister Russell, I feel funny everytime I say that.

    I know for a fact some think that, but when I sit down with them and explain exactly that it has absolutely nothing to do with them, they turn right around and nearly call me a liar. That's pure abuse on their behalf and I don't think for a moment a person should remain in an abusive situation, you?
     
  20. russell55

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    Than you've really done all you can do. I don't know what you mean by not remaining in an abusive situation (i thought you said you left the church?) but you probably could continue to be cordial, anyway.

    I guess a lot of this sort of stuff could be avoided if we all took Pauls' word's to the Philippians more seriously, and we each esteemed the other better than ourselves.
     

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